Genesis 2:17

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 2:17 in Other Translations

KJV
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
ESV
17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
NLT
17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”
MSG
17 except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don't eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you're dead."
CSB
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die."

Genesis 2:17 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 2:17

But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil
Of the name of this tree, and the reasons of it, (See Gill on Genesis 2:9) thou shalt not eat of it;
not that this tree had any efficacy in it to increase knowledge, and improve in science and understanding, as Satan suggested God knew; and therefore forbid the eating of it out of envy to man, which the divine Being is capable of; or that there was anything hurtful in it to the bodies of men, if they had eaten of it; or that it was unlawful and evil of itself, if it had not been expressly prohibited: but it was, previous to this injunction, a quite indifferent thing whether man ate of it or not; and therefore was pitched upon as a trial of man's obedience to God, under whose government he was, and whom it was fit he should obey in all things; and since he had a grant of all the trees of the garden but this, it was the greater aggravation of his offence that he should not abstain from it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die;
or "in dying, die" F26; which denotes the certainty of it, as our version expresses it; and may have regard to more deaths than one; not only a corporeal one, which in some sense immediately took place, man became at once a mortal creature, who otherwise continuing in a state of innocence, and by eating of the tree of life, he was allowed to do, would have lived an immortal life; of the eating of which tree, by sinning he was debarred, his natural life not now to be continued long, at least not for ever; he was immediately arraigned, tried, and condemned to death, was found guilty of it, and became obnoxious to it, and death at once began to work in him; sin sowed the seeds of it in his body, and a train of miseries, afflictions, and diseases, began to appear, which at length issued in death. Moreover, a spiritual or moral death immediately ensued; he lost his original righteousness, in which he was created; the image of God in him was deformed; the powers and faculties of his soul were corrupted, and he became dead in sins and trespasses; the consequence of which, had it not been for the interposition of a surety and Saviour, who engaged to make satisfaction to law and justice, must have been eternal death, or an everlasting separation from God, to him and all his posterity; for the wages of sin is death, even death eternal, ( Romans 6:23 ) . So the Jews F1 interpret this of death, both in this world and in the world to come.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 (twmt twm) Pagninus, Montanus
F1 Tikkune Zohar, correct. 24. fol. 68. 1. correct. 54. fol. 90. 2. correct. 66. fol. 100. 1.

Genesis 2:17 In-Context

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Genesis 3:11,17
  • 2. Genesis 3:1,3; Genesis 5:5; Genesis 9:29; Deuteronomy 30:15,19; Jeremiah 42:16; Ezekiel 3:18; S Romans 5:12; S Romans 6:23; James 1:15